Earlier this week, MTV announced its plan to bring back “House of Style,” the taste-making fashion and style series that ran from the late ’80s through the ’90s. To celebrate the news, the channel’s Web site has thrown up a bevy of snippets from shows past – from the Cindy Crawford era onward – and it is a treat. While it’s impossible to pick just six favorites out of the treasure trove of clips, we gave it our best shot.
Episode 2: Dee Dee Switches Punk for Proper
Dee Dee Ramone and his bandmates had style, but it was a style based on a complete lack of deviation: sneakers, tight black jeans, T-shirts, and black leather jackets. So to pair the Ramones bassist with straight-laced British designer Paul Smith is clearly a stroke of genius. Dee Dee kicks off his Chuck Taylors and slides into a series of tuxedos and does a few self-satisfied twirls. “The clothes that come out in the fall are my favorite,” Dee Dee says in his only comprehensible sentence.
Episode 12: Backstage at Spring 1992 Paris Fashion Week
Back in 1991 a Paris Fashion Week show cost $150,000. (To give you an idea of how much things have changed, Louis Vuitton reportedly spent $8 million on the steam train that was used in its fall/winter 2012 Paris runway presentation.) Supermodels Veronica Webb, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell make appearances in this episode, with Turlington justifying the $5,000 they would make working one runway show: “Our couple of thousand dollars are meager compared to the billions of dollars we seem to be making for these designers.” Best of all, we get to see a portly Karl Lagerfeld with salt-and-pepper hair and a black turtleneck.
Episode 18: Stephen Sprouse for Harper’s Bazaar
Before Louis Vuitton immortalized Stephen Sprouse’s work all over its handbags in 2001 and again in 2008, the late artist and designer was known in the fashion world for bringing Day-Glo brights to the forefront in the ’80s. This segment shows his “Iggy on the Cross” silkscreens and a still-cool Axl Rose choosing Sprouse’s designs for a Guns N’ Roses tour. It wraps up with Sprouse shooting models for a Harper’s Bazaar editorial. Very informative for those who’ve only seen his Louis Vuitton collaboration.
Episode 29: Jon Stewart Accompanies Cindy Crawford Around Town
Before he was on the news desk at “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart had a runaway success with his eponymous talk show on MTV. In a fit of cross-promotion, “House of Style” brought Stewart on the show to shuttle Cindy Crawford around to her various appointments. When her agent is scheduling a German Vogue shoot, Stewart chimes in, “I’m also free.” They eventually go to the gym, where Stewart lights up a cigarette on the medicine ball mats. America!
Episode 31: X-Girl Streetwear
All the ’90s cool kids showed up for the guerilla-style outdoor runway show that marked the launch of X-Girl, the label founded by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and her designer friend Daisy von Furth. The camera caught Spike Jonze and his then-girlfriend Sofia Coppola, who explained that their “friend Marc Jacobs just had a show down the street.” Nothing from the line — which consisted mainly of re-imagined sports shirts (including the Ringer, which Von Furth called, “the uniform for indie rockers”) — cost more than $60. Too bad X-Girl isn’t available stateside anymore. At least we can still get it in Japan.
Episode 52: Gwen Stefani and Shalom Harlow Go From the Treadmill to the Stage
Based on the clip of Gwen Stefani and Shalom Harlow palling around New York City in 1996, it appears the Hollaback Girl had established her iconic style code early on in her career. After hitting the treadmills for a few minutes the supermodel and the singer head to Roseland Ballroom, where No Doubt is headlining. They go to the green room and Stefani grabs some old outfits, including what appears to be a Snow White Halloween costume. “I’ve matured a little bit,” she says.
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